Clevelanders who love flowers, especially tulips, know that the tulips in the Cleveland area are already past their prime (for the most part) for the season. Even though most places had an early blooming of tulips this year due to the unexpected warm weather in March, you can still see some gorgeous, blooming tulips at the annual Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan from May 5-12. Holland, Michigan is approximately a 5 hour drive from Cleveland.
Tulip Time Festival Among the sights you can witness in Holland, Michigan, during the Festival are more than 6 million blooming tulips on display in parks, public areas, along city streets and at various Holland attractions.
Even if some of the tulips are past their prime, there are still lots of activities for all ages to enjoy at this family-oriented event. Among the activities during the Festival are three parades, dozens of live concerts (including one by the Oak Ridge Boys on May 11), a quilt show, a Tulip Time run, an arts & crafts show, a carnival, vintage baseball games and fireworks.
You don’t want to miss the multiple Dutch dance performances all over the city featuring 1100 costumed locals (including the Klompen wooden shoe dancers) demonstrating traditional Dutch dances.
Also check out the Dutch Marktplaats that combine the sights, sounds, crafts and tastes of 19th century Holland all in one place with Dutch food, dancing, crafts and shopping.The Marktplaats will feature stage events (Tulip Master Gardener, Dutch style entertainment) and demonstrations like wooden shoe carving.
Visitors will also be able to take 75 minute trolley tours of the city that depart every 30 minutes for a cost of $15 for adults and $5 for children (5-12).
In addition to experiencing the Tulip Time Festival, there are several must-see Holland attractions including several which are all in the same location. Veldheer’s Tulip Farm is the Midwest’s only working tulip farm. It has over 30 acres and 125 varieties of tulips surrounded by windmills, bridges and canals, Admission to Veldheer’s is $10 for adults and $5 for children (3-13). The tulip farm is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. 616-399-1900.
The DeKlomp Wooden Shoe Factory and Delftware Factory are adjacent to Veldheers. DeKlomp’s offers a free factory tour where you can watch wooden shoes being handmade by craftsmen. The Delftware Factory is the only Delftware factory in the United States. There is a wide variety of Delftware ceramics available for purchase and you can watch workers hand paint the items.
Also on the property is an American buffalo herd. Visitors can get a free viewing of the herd which consists of 19 bison which includes only one male (named Tacoma).
Veldheer’s and the other attractions above are all located at 12755 Quincy St. in Holland. For more information get online at www.veldheer.com.
Windmill Island Located on the edge of downtown Holland, Windmill Island is the home of DeZwann, a 250 year old working Dutch windmill imported from the Netherlands. The windmill stands tall over 36 acres of landscaped gardens, dikes, canals, bridges and picnic areas. Tours of DeZwann are offered. Visitors can also enjoy Dutch dancing demonstrations.
Windmill Island has over 150,000 tulips in bloom in the Spring. In the Summer, the grounds are decorated with annual flowers and plants. The grounds also offer a shopping area, free rides on an antique Dutch carousel and performances by an antique Amsterdam street organ. Windmill Island also features historic architecture, including the Posthouse museum, an exact replica of a 14th century wayside inn.
Windmill Island is open from 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Admission is $7.50 for adults and $4.50 for children (5-15). Windmill Island is located at 7th Street and Lincoln Ave. For more information call 616-355-1030 or get online at www.cityofholland.com/windmillislandgardens.
Nelis Dutch Village Family Theme Park The theme park is a replica of a village in the Netherlands from over 100 years ago that includes authentic Dutch architecture, canals, flowering gardens and windmills. Workers dressed in native costumes demonstrate crafts and life of that era.
Visitors can sample Dutch cheeses and Dutch food, try on wooden shoes and Dutch costumes, learn steps of a traditional Dutch folk dance, watch a wooden shoe carver, see a performance of Dutch dancers, feed farm animals and even take a goat for a walk.
Admission to Nelis Dutch Village is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and $7 for children (3-15). Children 2 and under are free. Hours are 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Nelis Dutch Village is located at 12350 James St. Get more information by getting online at www.dutchvillage.com.
Holland, Michigan is 310 miles from Cleveland and it is approximately a 5 hour drive.